Want Solid Tips On How To Rehearse Difficult Conversations?
Where there’s leadership, there’s often conflict. Whether you’re about to have a difficult conversation with a client, a customer or a team member, it’s critical to understand how to stay on track and not let a tough conversation unravel you.
Experts tell us that 60% – 80% of organizational issues actually stem from workplace conflict, and that nearly one-third of us constantly experience conflict. Face it, the very prospect of handling a challenging conversation can make even the best leaders nervous. Now, consider the good news: Conflict can be an opportunity to explore how we can relay opposing views in a way that’s constructive in both tone and approach.
Prepare: Pay attention (and do your homework)
What trips us up when it comes to ensuring a successful conversational outcome?
Take this example: When I first started out in business, I worked at a large luxury hotel with a leader who became visibly fidgety and agitated at the very idea of leading a challenging conversation. If a conversation was about to go sideways, he turned to his phone- literally- answering every call and making other calls during the discussion. The result? He appeared unprepared and uninterested, and his employees and customers left the conversation feeling dissatisfied.
So, pay attention and come to the table prepared. Nuff said.
People vs. Problem
The important thing here is to answer the right problem when you’re in the midst of a challenging conversation. This takes digging a little deeper to understand the root cause of the issue. Is there a personality conflict, or is there perhaps a process or a task issue? Asking the 4 questions below will get you started.
When you have a tough conversation coming up, your goal is to be able to convey your message clearly and to have everyone leave the conversation feeling that they’ve been heard and respected. Sometimes, we feel pressure to be likable, accommodate someone or avoid the situation completely. Be sure to evaluate your approach to make sure you’re providing context, assessing how well you’re communicating with your leaders and adapting to communication preferences.